May as well make this a trifecta of ‘blasts from the past’. Brian Eno is an old favorite (meaning I’ve liked him for a long time, no offense Brian), though I’ve lost touch with what he’s been doing in recent years. Make that many years. I’ll still put on his wonderful early solo albums when I’m in need of that warm, loving, quirky embrace. So now, as he just released his latest album last month, Small Craft On A Milk Sea (Warp Records), it’s high time to catch up.

We’ll pick up from his last solo album, Another Day on Earth in 2005, which was a “song album” with lyrics. As was his 2008 collaboration with David Byrne, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. In between was 77 Million Paintings, a video and music program for the PC, which featured, yes, 77 million combinations of video slides w/music generated by the program, and apparently never the same twice. A guest appearance on Belinda Carlisle’s solo album Voila. Music for the 2007 film Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance. Producer duties for Coldplay, U2 and Grace Jones (the latter of which he perfomed on). Soundscapes for a show of Italian artist Mimmo Paladino’s works in Rome. The “Bloom” and “Trope” Generative Music Applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. And music for the 2008 video game Spore. Talk about eclectic.

In the past two years, he curated the Luminous Festival in Sydney, where he made a rare live appearance, performing as part of Pure Scenius for improvised pieces (and later playing with them at the Brighton Festival in England). Scored music for Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones”. In November, Small Craft on a Milk Sea had its release, on the highly-regarded electronic label Warp Records. It is an instrumental collaboration featuring keyboardist Jon Hopkins and guitarist Leo Abrahams.

In addition to his music and art installations, Brian is also involved in politics and activism, giving occasional talks and contributing to a newspaper column in The Observer. He writes about society and innovation in Prospect magazine. And is on the board of directors for The Long Now Foundation, whose mission is ‘to provide counterpoint to today’s “faster/cheaper” mind set and promote “slower/better” thinking.’ They state that they “hope to creatively foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.” A ridiculously interesting guy.

But back to the music. Have a listen to and get completely swept up and away by two beautiful new offerings below. A third song, “2 Forms of Anger,” can be heard on the official site, where you can also purchase the CD, download, or Limited Edition Box Set; and watch a very silly interview.

Brian Eno with Jon Hopkins & Leo Abrahams – Horse (taken from Small Craft On A Milk Sea) by Warp Records

Brian Eno with Jon Hopkins & Leo Abrahams – Emerald and Stone (taken from Small Craft On A Milk Sea) by Warp Records – Small Craft On A Milk Sea site | Seven Sessions On A Milk Sea (improvised compositions – the making of the album) | Brian Eno/Warp Records facebook | Warp Records | EnoWeb fan site | Eno Shop – official store | The Long Now Foundation | Pitchfork interview | wikipedia

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